I did not remember how you feel when reading a book is a compulsory activity, although to be honest, nobody forced me. In the English class we had to read a book in original version, and it happened I picked up Dubliners from a list of 20 books. Why on earth did I choose this book? Indeed, I am not sure. I had heard that James Joyce is not a piece of cake. Anyway, I had to finish the book and Christmas holiday was the perfect moment to catch up on my homework.
Meanwhile I have felt empathy for those students who do not enjoy reading; nevertheless, it is compulsory for them to read some classical books, good literature we usually say. Even though they get bored, or they don?t understand the message or, what is more, they finally study the book more than enjoy reading it.
As is characteristic of me, many other questions arose, for instance, about what literature teachers would do to face similar situations. I am sure they know that their students can find all comments referred to a classical book just surfing on the internet. Besides, our youth don?t care to challenge established authority if they are not sure about the utility of the activity they have to do. Do you think that ?Luces de Bohemia? ?El ?rbol de la ciencia? or poems written by ?Juan Ram?n Jim?nez ?are attractive for them? Then, how to encourage young people to read more? Or perhaps, do we have to accept they are more interested in manga, twitter, pinrest and so on? It is a difficult topic, because as a teacher at University, I must say that our students show difficulty in reading a long text (namely, an article or an essay).
It is clear that I do not have answers to so many questions. Regardless, another point of view can be added. As a mother my sons have different attitude towards reading. While for one of them reading is a pleasure and from his childhood he avidly reads, mainly fantasy and science fiction, the other is not interested at all. ?It is said that children come to imitate their parents, but I am not sure to what point it is true.
In brief, thanks to my perseverance and eagerness I could finish Dubliners, I did not give up notwithstanding that my English teacher offered me to change the book chosen. Now I feel proud of myself, happy for all I have learned. All these aspects will be told in forthcoming posts.
As you have realized, there have been more posts about books in this ?my virtual space?, so, tell me: is there some book you were compelled to read and you did not enjoy it?; What about youngster around you? Do you like illustrated books or e-books? Is it such a passionate topic that I will return to it, I am sure.
This page is also available in: Espa?ol
A brave girl she is!! I thought when I heard the book you chose. Now, besides brave you have demonstrated how perseverant you also are.
I used to finish every single book I started. It was a kind of pride, I guess. But, already some years ago, I realized time is such a valuable resource in my life that I will not waste it reading what I do not enjoy. If always was unpleasant and tedious to read something compulsory now it is unbearable for me at all.
Back to secondary school, I remember as an awful reading Azorin’s “Las confesiones de un peque?o fil?sofo”. What a torture it was!! Surprisingly, later I did really enjoy reading “Sophie’s world”.
AOG you are so nice with me. I remember that in secondary school, once the teacher asked us to read a list of books and that by Sta Teresa de la Cruz was awful for me. I now sure if I want to try again. Wonderful world this, books, characters, plots, genre….
SuperGlory! As I promised in our English class I’m going to write here in your blog my opinion about the debate we had two classes ago. Everything started when Andr?s asked us if we think that ‘reading’ should be a compulsory activity, there were many ‘pro’ and ‘against’ in the audience but everybody agreed with the fact that ‘reading’ books is something essential for our education. In my personal case, I am not sure about this. I love ‘reading’, but is it so crutial? Why everybody suggest their children to read but not to go to the theatre or the museum? What I really think is that most of us have a very romantic perception of books as vehicules of culture but I reckon that nowadays there are many more ways of getting hold of it. Anyway, I want to thank you for your brilliant post and for having started a passionated debate.
Thanks for your comment and opinion. Actually I agree with you, theatre, ballets, concerts, exhibitions are other ways to learn and to express, and sometimes we don?t pay attention to them.
Anyway, we are teacher, so most of us think that reading is a very important activity. And regard children, perhaps we can offer them different activities and let them chose, although we have different preferences than them.
We will go back to this topic, I think.